Wednesday, May 31, 2017

That's Nice Of You

The Mets had one of those "in spite of themselves" wins on Tuesday night. First of all, they started Tyler Pill, who's one of those Dillon Gee-types (in fact, I believe Gee was name-checked on more than one Mets broadcast) in that he's a pitcher who doesn't "trade high" because he doesn't have "great stuff" but he manages to overachieve because he's a "Gamer." That's a polite way of saying Pill has an excellent chance of being a spot-starter or #5 starter for a while, and he might have a hot month here and there, but don't expect too much.

But Pill surprised us all on Tuesday by working his way into and deftly out of some jams against a tough Milwaukee lineup (that's tough in spite of the fact that you haven't heard of any of them but we learned that when the Mets played them in Milwaukee). Pill gutted his way through 5.1 innings allowing just one run and departing with a 2-1 lead that became a 4-1 lead when Lucas Duda hit a Home Run in the bottom of the 6th. But, of course, since the Mets bullpen is a consistently dicey proposition, they found themselves in a sticky situation in the 7th inning when Fernando Salas loaded the bases and then had to turn things over to Jerry Blevins in order to rescue him. Blevins did his job; he struck out Travis Shaw and in spite of issuing a run-scoring walk to Domingo Santana, got Jett Bandy (still not to be confused with Jaff Decker) to pop up for what appeared to be an inning-ending out. But Asdrubal Cabrera had a moment with Baseball and did not catch the popup, and to everyone's abject horror, two runs scored and the game was tied. Goodbye, Tyler Pill Win, Hello, references to woebegone Mets Middle Infielders who should not be mentioned in polite company.

Then, of course, came the bullpen parade. Neftali Feliz begat Josh Edgin, begat Jacob Barnes, begat Addison Reed, begat Corey Knebel, begat Josh Smoker, and so on, and so forth. Mets relievers handed Brewer batters walks seemingly at will. The Mets batters did a good job of not doing much of anything. Finally, it seemed that Smoker was going to go the limit for the Mets, as the only "available" reliever was Neil Ramirez, whom nobody wanted to see. So it became somewhat imperative that the Mets figure out a way to score, particularly against Wily Peralta, deposed as a starter due to repeated ineffectiveness that seemed to disappear whenever he faced the Mets. So in the 11th, Peralta set the Mets down in order.

But finally, the Mets managed to break through in the 12th, the last possible moment before a Ramirez sighting. T.J. Rivera, whom we haven't heard much from lately (he was falling victim to the curse of overexposure anyway) hit for Smoker and singled. Michael Conforto walked. Jose Reyes moved up Rivera by grounding into a Fielder's Choice. That brought up Jay Bruce, who mercifully singled to center to score Rivera to win the game, probably about 75 minutes later than it should have ended. Irregardless, the Mets did manage to win, which is probably the most important thing. After all that, it's nice that the Mets could figure out a way to win a game like this.

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